Изображения страниц

ever would please God, must resem- tables, which commenced about the ble him in goodness and benevolence, 20, was a meeting of all the young and those that had it not, must affect and gay every evening ; there they it by politeness and good manners. pulled to pieces the manners of those These lectures and sermons were at- who differed from them ; every thing tended by all the young and gay; was matter of conversation,-religion, they were new and entertaining, and morals, love, friendship, good manmatter for conversation and criticism. ners, and dress ; this tended more to

In well regulated families, there our refinement than any thing else, was still kept up a reverence for pa- the subjects were all new and enterrents and elderly friends; and when taining,—the booksellers' shops were the young were admitted to their so- not stuffed, as now, with novels,--the ciety, there was a degree of attention knowledge of the ladies was gained paid the old, yea, even servility, that only by conversing with gentlemen, this age knows nothing of, and who- not by reading themselves, as they ever was wanting in it, was unfit for had few books to read they could uncompany. Nobody in those times derstand. thought of pleasing themselves; the Whoever had read Pope and Addiestablished rule was to please your son, and Switt, with some ill written company ; endeavour to make them history, was then thought a learned think well of themselves, and they lady, which character was by no will think well of you for doing so. means agreeable. The men thought Society was not yet so much enlarged what knowledge the women had out as to weaken the affections of near re- of their own sphere should be given lations. This may easily be ascer- by themselves, and not picked up tained by every one now alive that is from ill chosen books of amusement; past fifty; not only brothers and sis, though many of them, not without a ters, but brothers and sisters-in-law, moral, yet more fitted to reclaim the mothers-in-law, and even more dis- dissolute than to improve a young untant connections, would leave their tainted mind, that might have passed own families for ten or twelve days, through life with more happiness and and attend with the utmost care a purity than they could with the knowfriend in a fever, or dangerous disor- ledge these books contained : neither der; these were the nurse-keepers for was there any sceptics in those times; the first 30 years of this century, who religion was just recovered from the by every method endeavoured to les- power of the devil and the fear of sen their distress, nor left them night hell. At this period, those terrors beor day till they were recovered or bu- gan to wear off, and religion appeared ried.

in a more amiable light, we were bid The intercourse between relations draw our knowledge of God from his and friends was kept up in another works, the chief of which is the soul way, which was of small presents, of a good man; then judge if we have mostly consisting of meat and drink; cause to fear ! —The Christian religion any thing rare or good of its kind was was taught as the purest rule of moin part sent to a friend; whatever rality, the belief of a future state, and rank in life they were in, these pre- of a particular providence as a support sents were received with thanks, and in every situation; the distresses of returned in kind, on proper occasions ; individuals were necessary for exer-neither was strangers nor people of cising the good affections of others, high rank sought after in their enter- and the state of suffering the post of tainments; it was their relations, the

honour. friends they loved, that shared their The intercourse of men and wodelicacies.

men, though less reserved than at preThese manners still remain in many sent, was full as pure. They would places of Scotland. When this re- walk together for hours, or travel on straint was thrown off, every charac- horseback or in a carriage, without any ter appeared in a natural light, of imputation of imprudence ; parents which there were great variety; had no concern when an admirer was prudes and coquettes, romps and af- the guide of their daughter, neither fected fine ladies. They were at no had they cause ; men shewed their pains to disguise, as every one had attachment by correcting their faults, their own adinirers. The regular team informing them what the world old gentry:

thought of them, and what was most ty, and the desire of applause, than agreeable to the men if they wished real benevolence. to please them.

Neither did the manners of the About the year 40, riches began to women change much, which were inincrease considerably. Many return- delicate in the married ones, who ed from the East and West Indies were still considered or treated only with good fortunes, who had gone a- as the first domesticks; and though broad after the Union. These pick- the men paid them more attention ed up estates through the country, now than formerly, this tended only and lived in a higher style than the to make them easy in company, not

less vulgar. Indeed, many threw off The Rebellion in 45 still more in- all restraint. I am at a loss to accreased our riches; from this time the count for this, if it was not owing to country took a new form. Whether our young noblemen bringing home the dread of arbitrary power disposed French manners, and, lest they should us for more liberty, or if another cause, be led into marriages, they made their I shall leave the more knowing to de- addresses only to those who were altermine; but surely it had powerful ready in that state. No doubt the effects on the manners. It was then contrast between those men educated that the slavery of the mind began to abroad, and those who had seen nobe spoken of; freedom was in everything of the world, would be very body's mouth. The fathers would use great ; besides, the manners of the the sons with such familiarity, that ladies might lead the men to more they would be their first friend; and freedom, as they had not yet learned mothers would allow no intimacies that restraint so necessary where sobut with themselves for their girls. ciety is enlarged. The utmost care was taken that fear It was about this time that tea-tables of no kind should enslave the mind; were established. It was the fashion for nurses were turned off who would tell the mentomeet regularly in the changethe young of witches and ghosts. house, as it was then called, for their The old ministers were ridiculed who different clubs, where they spent the preached up hell and damnation ; evening in conversation, without much minds were to be influenced by gen- expence; a shilling reckoning was very te and generous methods alone. The high, and for people of the first methods of instruction have been in- fashion, it was more general from creasing since the time mentioned a- fourpence to eightpence, paying bebove, what may be the effects none sides for their tobacco and pipes, which know. May not even the love of li- was much in use in some of these berty become the disease of a state, clubs. They played at backgammon and they be enslaved the worst way

or catch honours for a penny the game. by their own passions ? - The word All business was transacted in the servile becomes of late years to be forenoon, and in the change-houses; much used ; every degree of denying the lawyers were there consulted, and ourselves to please others is servile, the bill paid by the employer. The and for fear of the imputation of this, wine was sherry in mutchkin-stoups, we are in hazard of tricking ourselves --every new one was chalked on the out of the finest feelings of humanity, head of the stoup,—it was incredible devotion, love, and friendship, as in the quantity that was drunk on these each of these there is a degree of self- occasions. 'Every body dined at home denial, Nobody will at present share in private, unless called to some of the a family dinner with a friend, for fear entertainments mentioned above ; but of being thought servile, neither will the tea-table very soon introduced they attend them when in distress for supping in private houses, where the same cause, but satisfy themselves young people found themselves happy with daily inquiries after them. Nor with one another. They were loath yet did these manners sit easy on

there was too much exertion in it, and through all their politeness,

The discerning reader will observe, they still preserved a sense of their that this passage is inconsistent with what own dignity, so that their attention to goes before, the good lady's memory havothers was a degree of hurniliation ing a little failed her respecting the date which had more the appearance of du- of established tea-tables. --Editor.


[ocr errors]



to part, so that supping came to be constant amusement. The parents the universal fashion in Edinburgh; provide for this void as much as pose and lest the families they visited might sible, in giving them complete educabe unprepared, they sent in the morn- tion, and what formerly began at ten ing to know if they were to drink tea years of age, or often later, now beat home, as they wished to wait on gins at four or five, and how long it them; amongst friends this was al- is to continue the new age must deways considered as a supper, and any termine, for it is not yet fixed in this. of their male acquaintances asked that Reading, writing, music, drawing, they could command, to make up the French, Italian, geography, history, party: The acquaintances made up with all kinds of needle work, are now at public places did not visit in this carefully taught the girls, that their way; they hired a chair for the after- time may not lie heavy on their hands noon, and run through a number of without proper society ; besides this, houses, as is the fashion still. These circulating libraries loaded with books merry suppers made young people of amusement find a want when they went to the country, and to supply the place of them was introduced collations after supper, when the young people met in some of their bed-chambers, and either had tea or a posset, where they MR EDITOR, sat and made merry till far in the As I am not aware that most of the morning ; but this meeting was care- appearances to which I am about to fully concealed from the parents, who direct the attention of your readers, were all enemies to these frolics. have hitherto been inserted in any of These manners continued till the 60, the more respectable journals, I take when more of the English fashions the liberty of transmitting to you the took place; one of which was to dine following account of them, from noat three, and what company you had tices which I recorded at the time of should be at dinner. These dinners their occurrence, together with a few lasted long. The women sat for half observations which may serve to exe an hour after them, and retired to tea, plain them. The splendour and raribut gentleinen took their bottle, and ty of the appearances themselves, as generally sat till eight. The women well as their connection with the peare all the evening by themselves, culiar condition of the atmosphere which puts a stop to that intercourse during the two or three last years, and so necessary for the improvement of with the interesting exhibition of the both sexes. This naturally encourag- Aurora Borealis, seem to entitle them ed public places, as women had little to a place in your useful Miscellany. amusement at home; cut off from male My journal contains the following society, and few female friends to oc- notice : “ 11th September 1814. At cupy the void, they must tire of their about seven o'clock in the evening my mothers and elderly society, and fly attention was arrested by the appearto the public for relief. They find ance of a very vivid and well-defined gentlemen there, though late in the arch of electrical matter, stretching evening, when they have left their across the sky from N.E. to S.W.-a bottle, and too often unfitted for any few thin clouds crossed its eastern thing but their bed. In this kind of limb, where it terminated at 15 or 20 intercourse there is less chance of degrees above the horizon, in a pointforming attachments. The women ed form, but not very well defined,see men in the worst light, ayd what its western limb reached to within 30 impression they make on men, is often or 35 degrees of the horizon ; it formforgotten by them in the morning. ed a complete arch in the intermediate Thus late dinners have entirely cut space, its colour being white and vioff the merry suppers, much regretted vid,-stretching along the dark blue by the women, while the men pass of a frosty sky, its appearance was their nights in taverns, in gaming, or grander than that of any meteorologiother amusements, as their temper cal phenomenon I have ever witnessed. leads them. Cut off in a great mea. It remained alınost stationary and ensure from the society of men, it is ne- tire for nearly half an hour, when it cessary the women should have some gradually and slowly disappeared.

[ocr errors]


“ During the afternoon there had which passed away rapidly towards been light breezes from the south-west, the north-east, and occasionally shot which still continued, and there were forth faint corruscations. The barodistinct indications, from the greenish meter and thermometer had been very light and disturbed appearance of the variable for some days. polar regions, of an approaching play At eleven P. M. the sky was very of the Aurora Borealis ; by degrees bright near the northern horizon for these indications became more re- about a quarter of an hour, but no markable ; a dark circle of clouds en- Aurora Borealis appeared. Feloped the northern sky, surmount- “No opportunity of observing the ed at its upper edge by a broad fringe magnetic variation occurred at the of magnetical light; the cloud, through time.” which occasional flashes of a vivid light were discernible, at last lost the On the evening of the 24th of Sepcondensed form it had hitherto main- tember 1816, the attention of the intained ; and a very beautiful and habitants of this city was again attractwidely diffused play of the Aurora ed by the appearance of a phenomenon commenced about ten o'clock. The of exactly the same description. The thermometer during most of this time evening had previously been mild and was at 43° of Fahrenheit, nearly that clear. . About eight o'clock the lumi. temperature at which water is under- nous arch was seen stretching in much stood to be at its greatest density.” magnificence along the concave of the

I afterwards learned from published heavens ; a few thin clouds crossed its accounts, that the luminous arch was western limb, but its eastern extremity seen at Dublin and Newry in Ireland, and zenith portion were remarkably -in Scotland, at Glasgow, Dumfries, distinct. It was equally well defined and Annan,-in England, at White- with the bow of September 1814; it haven, Carlisle, Kendal, and Lancas- emitted a sensible light, and gave to ter. I have not learned that it was the night the appearance of a faint observed at London, or at any part moonshine, though the stars farther south.

every where visible throughout the

direction of its course. Its place, reFrom the following notice in the ferred to the constellations, was as fol Annals of Philosophy for 1815, I ob- lows: Its eastern termination was proserve that a similar appearance had jected a little south of the Pleiades, been visible in London on the 26th of which were at that time a few degrees September of that year, “ About a above the horizon ; from thence it quarter before ten o'clock on Tuesday passed upwards through the constelevening, September 26th, Fornalhaut lation of the Triangle, through Anbeing a little to the east of the meri- droineda, Pegasus, the Dolphin and dian, the barometer being 29. 62, and the Eagle, its western termination bethe thermometer 62, a luminous band ing projected on the constellation appeared near the western horizon, and Poniatowski. The meteor contiextended itself gradually towards the nued visible, and in much perfection, east, until it occupied a line beginning for nearly two hours, and when it at at the sixth of the Eagle, passing last slowly disappeared, a faint light through the Fox and Goose, between continued for some time to mark the the fifth and sixth of the Swan, across place where it had been visible. DurAlmaac in Andromeda, and Medusa's ing the appearance of the meteor, there head, and terminating a little to the were the usual indications of an apnorth of the Pleiades. It was very proaching play of the Aurora Borealis, bright and well defined near its west- which accordingly took place soon afern extremity, broader, fainter, and of ter the bow had disappeared. shorter duration, towards the east. Its medium breadth was about five It appears, from the foregoing exdegrees, and it continued about twenty tracts, that a bow of the same descripminutes.

tion has been visible in some part of “ The afternoon of Tuesday was this island, during each of the three very wet, with violent gusts of wind; last autumnal seasons, and indeed very for some time before this luminous ap- nearly about the same time of the pearance, the sky was nearly covered year, that is, in the month of Septemwith large dark cumulous clouds, ber, and about the time of the equi



nox. I have also learned, that about tent of murky vapour, through which half a year previous to the first of streams of the same luminous matter these, namely, on the 17th of April that had constituted the bow and the 1814, a similar appearance had been band, were seen stretched in various observed in Dublin, and in some parts directions. The sky due north was of the north of England.

free from clouds, and only marked Very soon after the last of these ap- near the horizon by that beautiful pearances, I had an opportunity of ob- twilight which indicates an Aurora. serving a similar meteor, though not A deep mass of troubled vapour, howof so perfect and striking a form ; the ever, rested over the pole of the magnotice, which I recorded at the time, netic meridian, which, it is well being as follows: “About ten o'clock known, is at present about twenty-four of the evening of the 3d of October degrees west of north, and from this 1816, my attention was arrested by mass, both the thin arch and the way. the appearance of what an eye, less ac- ed band seemed to originate. The customed to such sights, would have moon was up all the while, and a halo considered as a thin and very elongat- of a very extensive diameter added coned cloud, which seemed to rise from siderably to the striking appearance of a mass of lurid vapour that covered a the evening. very considerable portion of the west- “ It is worthy of observation, that, ern and northern parts of the sky. during the time of these appearances, The thin cloud extended from this the weather was characterized by a mass in a direction passing very near genial warmth, to which we have been the Great Bear, and, when I first ob- little accustomed for many months served it, reaching to Capella in the past, and which reminded one of those constellation of the Charioteer. After fine evenings that are commonly enremaining of this length for some joyed during the summer months by time, it slowly extended itself com- the inhabitants of the southern counpletely to the eastern horizon. Its tries of Europe. The next day, howsides were considerably broken and ever, was remarkable for a drizzling ragged; its breadth was not more than rain of a very peculiar character, and half that of the bow of the 24th of the whole day was one of the most September last, and its light was less dismal we have had during this porbrilliant, but its arched appearance was tentous season.' equally complete.

« This, however, was not the most Beside the appearances I have alstriking part of the phenomena of that ready detailed, i have, on two other evening. The bow did not continue occasions, had an opportunity of revisible above perhaps a quarter of an marking similar phenomena, namely, hour, but its place was almost imme- during the month of February 1817, diately supplied by a very remarkable and about the beginning of March of band, of what I dare say most of those the same year. On the first of these who were abroad at that hour mistook occasions, I observed a bow in every for light coloured clouds, and which respect similar to the most perfect of stretched, like the bow, quite across those I have already described ; of the sky from N. W. to N. E. This considerably greater breadth indeed, band had the appearance of being and differing from them only in the waved, or as if it had consisted of a less intense nature of the light which succession of more prominent and it emitted. It seemed, at the time more depressed parts; the depressed when I observed it, to be just disportions being duller in colour than appearing, but as I did not hear that the more prominent, and giving to the it had been publicly noticed, I conphenomenon very much the appear- clude that its light had not been reance of those fleecy clouds which are markably brilliant at any period of its frequently visible. The northern edge duration. Its direction was nearly of this band was distinctly defin- due east and west, and quite in the ed ; and, as the sky due north was zenith of this metropolis. clear, the burnished appearance of this On the second occasion, which was luminous band, seen against the deep at the distance only of a few days azure of the sky beyond it, was sin- from the occurrence of the last meteor, gularly impressive. Its southern por- I had the satisfaction of observing a tion passed gradually into a great ex- vast mass of luminous matter, collect

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »